WA Legal Roundup
Four new opinions from The Supremes today. Well, technically seven, but I only blog the law, not what the law coulda shoulda woulda been.
The court defined victim as "anyone injured or harmed as the result of a crime." Thus, the sole surviving passenger couldn't be charged as accomplice to DUI as she was injured in the resulting crash.
This will probably lead to anomalous results. Picture, for instance, an accomplice to a drug deal gone bad that ends up shot in the process. There's a slew of possibilities that could get someone off. I hope we can expect an amendment by the legislature.
This is a double jeopardy case with the court split and Justice Madsen concurring with the lead opinion in result only. Thus, no change in the law and nothing to blog about.
Failey was facing a third strike. However, the "first" strike was a 1974 Robbery occurring before Title 9A was enacted. Thus, the court looked to what the equivalent would have been. His 1974 Robbery was equivalent of 2d Degree Robbery today, which washed out due to there being a ten year gap between offenses. Failey gets a reprieve -- let's hope he uses it wisely.
In an unsurprising move (pragmatism-fueled), the court held that the legislature had plenary power to divide King County into two judicial districts and summon jurors from each of those districts (Seattle and Kent RJC, in case you weren't familiar). The question really came down to whether art. I, s. 22 of Washington's Constitution -- providing that juries be drawn from the county in which the crime occurred -- required the jury to be drawn from the whole county. The court held that Lanciloti did not meet his burden of showing that this subdivision led to an unrepresentative jury pool. The opinion is an interesting historical read, but that's about it.